Everything is expensive. What we call basic needs are not exactly cheap, and even putting a roof over our heads costs an arm and a leg. Employees juggle multiple jobs to provide for their family, and healthcare is not helpful enough for unique and financially taxing medical conditions. With all of these considered, money means less than it used to, but at the same time, it means everything to a struggling household.

Can you still get value for your money without living a lifetime buried in debt?

All the Best Things Are Not Free

Unfortunately, we live in a society that runs on money, and at the very heart of it is debt — the way for most people to get their house, car, and other big-ticket purchases. It’s also how companies start and thrive. They borrow money to start operating, and this comes with exorbitant fees, which businesses pass on to consumers. Those consumers also have their own debt to tackle as they resort to credit cards for impulsive purchases and emergency expenses.

All prices go up, but the salary of each individual does not go up with them. Companies want to improve their profit, and one of the ways to do that is to pay their employees less.

Making Ends Meet

Despite the obvious problem with the unjustifiably low minimum wage, employees push forward to make ends meet because it’s the only way for them to survive. There will be no one to swoop in and make their debt go away, especially if it includes student loans. The only thing they can do is face their debt head-on while making smarter financial decisions.

In Salt Lake City, that can mean anything from buying in bulk to growing their own vegetable garden. Luxuries are relegated to the bottom of the list, bought only after all other necessities have been crossed out. Name brands take a back seat, except for the occasional splurge, which, if you think about how hard you’ve been working, is rightfully deserved.

Still Living the Good Life?

woman stretching her arms

Life must seem grim if you’re earning minimum wage and have to tackle several loan repayments at once. Is there no end to your suffering? Well, it all depends on how you look at it. You may not afford a weekend stay in Greece right now, but you can afford water softener repair so that you are not getting hard water that can truly make you feel like you have it worst in all of Utah.

You may not be jet-setting around exotic countries with a mimosa in hand, but you can get a good night’s rest in your comfortable bed, which is not the most expensive, but it’s familiar and encased in freshly laundered sheets. You may not be fine dining every day of the week, but even a cheap bottle of wine can give you that buzz that takes the edge off a stressful work night. While you’re not able to spend more frivolously, it’s essential to spend wisely.

Up to a certain degree, money is to blame for the limitations in the way you live. However, it’s not the most important thing in the world. What matters is your perspective. Being grateful for what you have, no matter how little, can be the secret to living a happy life. You can have all the riches in the world, but if you still tell yourself that something is missing, you will not be satisfied. Conversely, knowing that you don’t have everything should not make you feel wanting. It should, instead, help you appreciate what you have that others do not.